The criteria i think we need to fill is;
- Doesn't add an extra burden on society
- Gives back to the community that they have taken much from
- Is a punishment that is taken seriously by the offenders, and society...justice must be seen to be done
- The punishment gives the offenders a chance to turn their lives around
- A failure to comply leads to a substantive punishment such as a custodial sentence
I've been bouncing ideas around the twitosphere and between us @girlgatsby and i have come up with the ideal solution.
Where the only aggravating factor is the disorder, and that disorder did not involve physical violence towards another person, they should be given a long community service order. That order would last up to a year, and include at least 4 full days work. Over the year they are giving something back to the community, and learning to work to a structure. For one day a week they would attend some form of education, be it 'back to work' workshops, computer skills, literacy skills or whatever. It would be my hope that after the year they feel like they have the confidence to turn their lives around. If they fail to meet the community order, they will find themselves be given a custodial sentence.
Thanks to @girlgatsby for her great ideas...do you agree? do you disagree? let us know!